Civic report: La Jolla Community Planning Assoc., Sept. 6
by Mariko Lamb
Sep 12, 2012 | 1885 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At the Sept. 6 meeting of the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA), trustees heard the plea of one resident to address what he called the “outrageous” actions of Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) for obscuring coastal views with recent construction.

Thirty-year La Jolla resident John Beaver faulted the SIO for “destroying irreplaceable views” through the development of its MESOM (Marine Ecosystem Sensing, Observation and Modeling) building, which is currently under construction.

“How outrageous of the director of SIO and the staff to so egregiously destroy a precious site. It is so selfish of a group of people who are given a special site and, in some cases, preferential housing to blight the coastline,” he said. “It looks as though it is too late to stop the construction, but SIO should be faulted forever for its lack of community citizenship. The view is gone as of today, so thank Scripps Institution of Oceanography.”

LJCPA trustees Jim Fitzgerald and Dan Allen recalled SIO project representatives assuring the LJCPA that the community’s prized ocean views would be protected.

“I remember when we and the community reviewed that project, we were assured that the views were not going to be impaired,” said Fitzgerald. “If they’re not being protected, I’m very, very disappointed.”

Allen made a motion to write a letter to the Coastal Commission to stop construction on the project until they explain any discrepancies or divergences in the proposed plan.

“They pulled a fast one on us or a big mistake has been made,” he said.

The trustees voted in favor of Allen’s motion.

The councilwoman pays a visit, announces community news

• The design of the Children’s Pool lifeguard tower is nearly complete, and the project is expected to break ground this fall, announced District 1 City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner at the meeting.

• The Coastal Commission’s hearing on the city’s proposal for a year-round rope barrier at the Children’s Pool beach, which was originally slated for Aug. 30, was postponed until late September due to a notification error. The exact time and date is yet to be determined, said Lightner.

• Lightner’s office continues to work closely with the Save Our La Jolla Post Office Task Force in its efforts to enable the community to have first right of refusal to purchase the Wall Street post office, should the building be put up for sale.

• The California Coastal Commission, La Jolla Parks & Beaches, city Park & Recreation, Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) and Lightner’s office have been working in concert to come up with a solution to deal with the stench emanating from around La Jolla Cove.

“We have a very good group of people working on this, and we make progress every week,” said Lightner. “We have found a company with a natural product that might be effective in addressing the odor concerns at the Cove.”

Any product used on the rocks at the Cove, which is under the jurisdiction of the Coastal Commission, requires approval by the Coastal Commission and RWQCB before it can be used.

• Since 2009, the city has received $1.2 million in grants and funding for the Torrey Pines Corridor project. Approximately $280,000 has been spent on the preliminary design for the entire project, leaving the city with almost $1 million to begin working on one of the major objectives for the project — the improvement of pedestrian safety.

“One of the main things we can do to improve pedestrian safety is to clear the entire north side of all obstructions in the sidewalk area,” said Lightner. “All those obstructions will be removed and the sidewalk will be widened in certain areas.”

Construction of the new retaining wall and sidewalk will begin late next year. Complete funding for the approximately $26 million project remains outstanding.

Neighborhood development

• A new program instituted by the city will allow individual communities to provide input in the development of the Capital Improvement Program portion of the city budget, announced LJCPA vice president and chairman pro tem Joe LaCava.

“Each of the 42 planning groups is being invited to hold hearings and have community input as to what should be funded,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for public participation.”

• Trustees motioned to approve a requested valet services permit in an existing loading zone for Barfly restaurant, located at 909 Prospect St. The valet parking, which will be operated by Finest City Valet, will open to the public and does not result in a loss of street parking, assured Finest City Valet owner Troy Martin.

• The LJCPA recommended approval of a coastal development permit to demolish an existing 10,383-square-foot house and construct a 9,708-square-foot house with a 951-square-foot pool house at 9882 La Jolla Farms Road.

Some trustees and neighbors at the meeting praised the applicant for designing a sensitive, low-scale project as well as contributing a portion of their property as dedicated open space for use as a public trail along with the adjacent Encore Trust property owners.

“I’d like to commend both property owners — both Encore Trust and Wu/Tsai — for improving the public easement there. It’s been a historic trail, but to have the owners put the dedication in and do the improvements is very commendable,” said trustee Tim Lucas.

A representative of the neighboring Encore Trust property aired some concern about the proximity of the pool house to their own play yard but emphasized they had no significant concerns over the design of the house itself.

Ultimately, trustees were largely in support of the project as proposed.

“It is amazing to have a house going up that is not larger than the existing house,” said trustee Nancy Manno. “I am just astonished and so pleased.”

• The LJCPA will present one bylaw amendment to LJCPA members for a vote at the association’s membership meeting in March. The proposed bylaw change would create the position of second vice president. The second vice president would be responsible for conducting any duties required should the president or vice president be unable to do perform those tasks — for example, chairing meetings in the absence of the president or vice president.

The Ad Hoc Committee on Operating Procedures also discussed the possibility of another bylaw amendment that would prohibit the LJCPA president, vice president and joint committee chairpersons from being contracted to represent individuals or groups who are opposed to a proposed project under consideration by the association. The proposed bylaw change was shuttered in a split vote and will not be presented at the March membership meeting.

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